Dr Julio Villa-García

Senior Lecturer in Spanish Linguistics and Syntax

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BA (Hons) Oviedo '05; Dip. Kent '05; MA Essex '07; MA Connecticut '10; PhD Connecticut '12

Dr Julio Villa-García [xúli̯o βíʝa ɣaɾθía] is a Senior Lecturer (US: Associate Professor; Sp.: Profesor Titular de Universidad). He was born in Avilés, in the Principality of Asturias, Spain, in the year Spain last hosted the FIFA World Cup. In the course of his PhD at the University of Connecticut, Dr Villa-García was trained as a theoretical syntactician and as a language acquisitionist, working within the framework of Minimalism. His current interests lie in the areas of Spanish/Romance and English Linguistics (esp. syntax), Dialectal Microvariation in Syntax, Bilingualism, and First and Second Language Acquisition, including the application of theoretical linguistics research to the foreign-/second-language classroom. Dr Villa-García's full updated CV can be accessed and downloaded in .pdf format here. A summary of his professional record over the last two decades is provided here in reverse chronological order:

2020-present - Senior Lecturer in Spanish Linguistics and Syntax, Linguistics & English Language, University of Manchester, UK

2015-2020 - Lecturer in Spanish Linguistics and Syntax (confirmed in post in 2017), University of Manchester, UK

2012-2015 - Assistant Professor of Spanish Linguistics (tenure-track), Villanova University, USA

2007-2012 - PhD in Linguistics, University of Connecticut, USA

2007-2010 - MA in Linguistics, University of Connecticut, USA

2006-2007 - MA in Linguistics, University of Essex, UK

2005-2006 - Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Washington, DC, USA

2004-2005 - Diploma in European Culture and Languages, University of Kent, UK

2000-2005 - BA (Hons) in English Studies, University of Oviedo, Spain

Dr Villa-García's focus is Spanish/Romance syntax and, to a lesser extent, monolingual and bilingual first language acquisition. His research is concerned with issues pertaining to: 

- the syntax-phonology interface;

- the structural geometry of the leftmost portion of (Spanish) clauses (i.e., the CP/left periphery);

- complementiser systems (i.e., that-like elements);

- subjecthood (from any standpoint);

- locality of movement (i.e., constraints on long-distance dependencies);

- left-dislocations, questions, and exclamatives (and their implications for word order possibilities);

- negative imperatives (i.e., commands);

- clitics (i.e., weak pronouns), including the phenomenon of clitic climbing;

- ellipsis; and

- polarity (i.e., yes/no) and emphasis. 

Dr Villa-García has presented widely on a host of topics in syntax and its acquisition and variation, alongside engagement and knowledge-transfer topics such as multilingualism as well as the benefits of applying the scientific method to the teaching/learning of foreign languages. His 2019 TEDx talk on Why Bilingualism is So Natural can be viewed on YouTube (and has actually been published on the TED.com website). The video of a 2018 talk also on bilingualism delivered in Spanish at the Instituto Cervantes can be found here, another interactive Instituto Cervantes lecture delivered in English online in 2020 under the title Living Bilingually can be found here, and a 2019 interview for the Spanish Radio and Television Corporation (RTVE) on the Spanish language around the world can be listened to here.

Dr Villa-García convenes units in the BA in Linguistics and the BA in English Language (also offered as enhanced MA units):

- Minimalist Syntax (final year).

[- First and Second Language Acquisition (final year); until 2018].

He also teaches in the MA in Linguistics:

- Introduction to Grammatical Theory

- MA Dissertation/Research Methods for Linguists II (multiple instructors).

And he coordinates a module in the BA in Spanish:

- Spanish Linguistics (second year).

Dr Villa-García's historical narrative and summative teaching evaluations for all courses taught to date are publicly available in .pdf format here (and the CV contains a summary).

From September 2019, Dr Villa-García's main administrative role in the Department of Linguistics and English Language is that of Postgraduate Research (PGR) Director.

Dr Villa-García welcomes BA, MA and PhD students working mainly on the theoretical (Minimalism) and descriptive syntax of English, Spanish and Romance, but also on topics related to the acquisition of syntax.

Areas of expertise

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